'Matter of Laugh or Death,' the award-winning humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
A TIP OF THE CAP TO A CAP FANATIC
I attended the Torrington Twisters baseball game last night, and as usual I had a really great time watching a New England Collegiate Baseball League game. Because of newspaper deadlines, this column was written a week ago, but I can say with complete certainty that I had a really great time last night because I was watching a baseball game in person, which is always a really great thing.
Of course, if last night’s game was rained out, then I guess I can’t say I had a really great time. In that case, I had only a moderately great time, because even if I ended up sitting all by myself in the Fuessenich Park bleachers in the pouring rain, I was watching a baseball FIELD in person, which is always a moderately great thing. Hey, I like baseball, OK?
(And if it turns out I had a heart attack and died during this past week and was unable to attend last night’s game, then I guess I had only a reasonably great time, because I was watching Babe Ruth and Cy Young play against each other in Heaven Park, which is always a reasonably great thing.)
Anyway, this year the Twisters are sporting a slightly modified baseball hat. The hats are all black, trimmed in orange, rather than the previous years’ style, a black crown with an orange bill. So naturally, as soon as I saw these new hats, I just had to have one. And they’re on sale at the ballpark concession stand for a very reasonable price.
But there is a slight problem: I already own at least 45 baseball hats. It’s hard to give an exact figure since some of the hats are in my closet, some are in the garage, some are in the attic, and a couple are with my golf clubs in the trunk of my car. But whatever the exact number, it’s safe to say I’m in danger of becoming the Imelda Marcos of baseball hats.
A few months ago I kinda, sorta told my wife that I would stop buying baseball hats…for a while. (Similar to the time when Bill Clinton kinda, sorta told Hillary that he would stop cheating on her…for a while. I think his statement was inspired by the fact that she was waving a steak knife in his direction. )
Close to half of my baseball hats are Boston Red Sox themed, in various combinations of colors, styles, and textures. A few hats are UConn, a couple are New York football Giants, one is Boston Celtics, and the rest are assorted corporate logo caps I’ve acquired over the years at my job.
The reasonable, rational part of my brain says, “Hey Bill, if you want to wear a baseball hat, I think we’ve got you covered—and then some!” My wife agrees fully with this part of my brain.
But when I’m at the ballpark, and I see the players wearing a particular hat, and then I see many fans in the bleachers wearing that same hat, well, at that moment the reasonable, rational part of my brain is nowhere to be found. (I think it’s down behind the grandstand buying a hotdog.)
I freely admit that collecting countless baseball hats is a really dumb obsession. But on the other hand, many middle-aged guys are obsessed with collecting much more expensive and/or dangerous items, such as Corvettes, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and mistresses. Compared to these guys, my behavior is just a little quirky rather than a sure-fire way to meet up with the business end of a steak knife.
Please don’t tell anyone, but I’ve got a really cool all black, trimmed-in-orange baseball hat hiding in the trunk of my car. I’m trying to get up the nerve to wear it into the house. But first I have to make sure all the steak knives are out of reach.
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